The Cauldron of Fear

The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 1, Part 6

“Imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, Lone Wolf promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, he survives as a soldier of fortune…..”

Oops.

Sorry – wrong piece of pop culture.

More accurately, this is Lone Wolf right about now :

Do have Psi-Surge?

Nope.

Do I have Nexus?

Um, no.

This is getting serious.

Abandoned by my allies, without the Magnakai Disciplines that I apparently need, I pace my cell restlessly…

And the, after several hours I settle down on my haunches (!?) to sleep.

To soon, I am rudely awoken by soldiers who bundle me off to see the Magistrate.

While riding in a covered wagon, I mentally rehearse my best Al Pacino….

The journey is so rough, I actually manage to lose 2 Endurance points.

I learn from my captors that, in a system that would delight any aspiring fascists out there, all decisions are made by the Chief Magistrate, with no jury and no right of appeal.

Yikes.

I am mightily relieved, after entering the Courtroom, to discover that the Chief Magistrate, after all this terrifying build-up, is in fact Gwynian, who I first ran into en route to Ruanon and later in my quest for the first Lorestone.

The sergeant-at-arms rises and tries to present his case, but it becomes clear that Gwynian isn’t listening.  He eventually interrupts the prosecutor and informs him that the Tahou guards have arrested Lone Wolf, the ‘last Kai Master of Sommerlund’.  The sergeant-at-arms is suitably admonished, the charges are promptly dropped and all of my possessions are returned to me.

giphy3

Aside : Actually, in all seriousness, this isn’t justice at all.  One of the most fundamental principles of the law is that it should apply equally to all, regardless of the identity of the alleged perpetrator.  At a minimum, Gwynian should have heard testimony regarding the events in question, and then ruled that he had, due to my background and character, confidence that Lone Wolf was telling the truth and then, BASED ON A FINDING OF CREDIT, acquitted Lone Wolf.  Ordering charges dropped simply due to the identity of the accused is unacceptable.

Slightly uncomfortable at the means by which my freedom has been obtained, I shuffle nervously into the Principal’s (*cough*) Chief Magistrate’s office.

[Aside : Shortest ever “Oh no, I’ve lost my MEGASWORD again” worry period of my life….]

With regard to Gwynian’s exposition – bullet points, be my guide!

  • Gwynian was appointed to the judiciary shortly after he moved here two years ago.
  • This move was necessitated by the destruction of the Halls of Learning in Varetta by the Darklords.  He is the last survivor of his people…..[that sounds familiar…..]
  • The Elder Magi sent advance word of my coming.
  • Aside : It is a pity that such advance word didn’t make it to the city gates….
  • The Cauldron, being the entrance to the underground of the city, is in the Square of Dragons in the West District of town.
  • He has sent an order for Banedon to also be released, but apparently there is no time (!!!!) for him to join me for the remainder of my quest.
  • …..I can’t even.
  • The Cauldron : “The Cauldron is a funnel-shaped hollow with a circular shaft at its base. The shaft descends to the ruins of the ancient city of Zaaryx, 500 feet below Tahou.”
  • The shaft has been sealed for 360 years.  The air must be putrid.
  • The only man who can make an order to have the shaft opened, and to give me access to same, is President Toltuda or Antari.

Great – this is going to come down to a bureaucratic appeal regarding the opening of a local fixture.

122303-120742

After a brief wait, a messenger returns with a command that I may plead my case to the entire Senate, rather than in a private audience with the President.

Eloquence and persuasion?  A lawyer’s speciality!

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Gwynian places me in his personal carriage, and I’m off to the Senate building.

I elect to take a discreet path through the side entrance, and am escorted to the Appellant’s gallery in the heart of the building.

Project Aon link – Appellant’s gallery

I present my case, and the Senators appear split between those who wish to help me, in the hope that the Lorestone will aid in the city’s defence, and those who wish to act in appeasement of the Darklords, by handing me over as prisoner, in the hope the Darklords will leave the city alone (!)

Not much chance of the latter working, dudes.

I’m strongly reminded of the story of two explorers who spy a tiger emerging from the far side of the clearing in which their campsite has been pitched.  One explorer immediately starts lacing up his shoes.

“What on earth are you doing?”, asks his partner, “You’ll never be able to outrun that tiger.”

“Don’t need to, mate.”  comes the reply, “I just need to outrun you.”

Heh.

Anyway, in the standard trope of this kind of fiction, the Senate is (*gasp*) evenly split 6-6, and the President must cast the deciding vote.  There are no modifiers for Disciplines or items, and the two outcomes appears to be a straight 50/50 shot.

If coming out on the wrong side of this R10 means an instadeath, I WON”T be happy.

R10 is a……..2

While I thought that would mean disaster, an R10 of 0-4 actually means that the President’s vote is in my favour, and the Senate will aid me.

tenor2

The approval is somewhat melodramatically indicated by a jet of green flame shooting upwards towards the ceiling.

The insurance premiums on this building must be staggering.

Project Aon link – Scales of Justice

As the Senators fawn over my successful self, I leave you….till next time.

Base Stats : CS : 19, E : 25, GC 39

Current Stats : CS : 34/34, E : 31/31

Weapons : Sword, Dagger

Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS),

Backpack : Vial of Gold Dust, Rope, Lantern, Altar Cloth, Potion of Laumspur, Sacks of Silver (1), Flask of Boaza, Brass Whistle.

Special Items : 1. Sommerswerd 2. Platinum Amulet, 3. EMPTY 4. Shield (+2 CS),                 5. Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), 6. Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) 7. Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, 8. Invitation 9. Quiver (4 arrows), 10. Fireseeds (6), 11. Receipt 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.

Kai Monastery storage :

  • Backpack Items : Sack of Silver
  • Special Items : Mao of Tekaro, Diamonds (2), Boat Ticket, Power Key, Copper Key, Ornate Silver Key, Jewelled Mace, Dagger of Vashna, Brass Whistle. Quiver (4 arrows), Pass, Vial of Clear Liquid, Crystal Star Pendant

Magnakai Rank : Principalin

Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+3 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace, Dagger, Spear, Quarterstaff), Pathmanship, Huntmastery, Divination, Invisibility, Psi-Screen

Lore-Circles : Fire (+1 CS, +2 E), Solaris (+1 CS, +3 E)

Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+2CS), Mindshield, Weaponskill (+2 CS in Short Sword)

Paragraph : 58

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9 thoughts on “The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 1, Part 6

  1. Lone Wolf thrown in jail while awaiting charges in court…

    If Lone Wolf had lost the vote, you could have found his reaction in the same Community ep…

    Vive la France!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. “You can always count on the A̶m̶e̶r̶i̶c̶a̶n̶s̶ world to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.”

        Liked by 2 people

    1. From the Jack Campbell novel Leviathan:

      “We always look at it backwards, don’t we.

      People are always talking about demanding more and better performance from elected officials, but when you get right down to it, shouldn’t a democracy demand more and better performance from the citizens who vote? If they do their job well, the the quality of those they elect will naturally follow.”

      “I suppose… But not entirely true. The leaders have to be worthy, have to avoid the temptations of power, have to be honest even when the people don’t want honesty. Democracy is a team sport, Admiral. If everyone doesn’t play their position well, the whole team suffers.”

      Was just reading that the other day and felt it relates to both the celebration and what it says that its a cause of celebration. Just posted for people to view or not as they choose.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So, I said that there were “advantages” to being arrested. Did I happen to remember that you needed certain skills to then escape? No, I did not. I don’t see why you should have to suffer for my mistake, but fortunately Lone Wolf is suffering over the city guards mistake. I’m acquitted 😀

    But as for your own acquittal. When I said that I looked forward to seeing how your legal training came in handy I wasn’t expecting you to argue against your being released so quickly!!! Forgetting you’re store of Spider gif’s I went on a rant untill I realized

    Starting over it’s said of the Chief Magistrate’s courthouse, “It is a place where justice is meted out to wrongdoers”. Yes, Lone Wolf is a horse thief and under certain players will grab everything not nailed down (and even use the Sommerswerd to pry up things that ARE nailed down). But in the eyes of Gwynian he is NOT a wrongdoer therefore there’s no justice to be meted out. Plus the Darklords will be here in the morning so time really is of the essence.

    Re Senator Chil’s advocating appeasement (and 5 morons I mean senators following him). In fairness to those who listened to him Tahou has no chance of standing up to three armies (complete with an airforce) on its own. Lone Wolf, even with a Megasword and a Lorestone will still only be one man. Yes, Lone Wolf would argue that the Darklords represent the Forces of Darkness and their victory will bring a reign of terror over the inhabited world. But people say that with every war. Appeasement has a bad reputation but whenever a side is uncertain of victory it will continue to have a use. I can’t believe I just
    defended anti Lone Wolf Senators.

    And yeah. If that vote had been an Instadeath it would have been the most hated and reviled part of the entire series. Till next time.

    Liked by 1 person

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